I don’t know how many times I have been sitting on my surfboard in the line-up and realized that the light is getting better and better. You are entering what photographers calls the golden hour. It is the last hour before the sun sets and the light gets soft and warm and the ocean looks like its made of liquid gold. Perfect for photography with other words. And at the same time perfect sized waves rolls in and you are having so much fun surfing with your friends, but the light is so perfect. You also know that your friends and your self would love to have some photos from this moment. Nice waves with nice light that’s almost a guarantee that you will get a couple of really good shots. So what do you do? Well I usually surf as long as I think I still have some time to shot some pictures and then I paddle in grab my camera and start shooting, still wearing my wetsuit.
The golden hour is usually not only one hour it varies through the seasons. Most of the times you get more than one hour, but its the last one that you want. You also have the golden hour in the morning and then it starts from sunrise. I’ve heard that the journal National Geographic refuses to even look at pictures not shot during those hours, when they are selecting there pictures. If its true or not I don’t know, but they do have some really amazing pictures in their magazine.
What do I prefer, surfing or photography? Well I love doing both but if I had to choose one of them it would be surfing… nothing beats the feeling of surfing. But hey you can do both!
If you are having a photo session in the sunset and you don’t think the light in your picture turns out as you wish, lacking those nice sunset colours. Then you can try to underexpose them a little bit by using faster shutter speed or smaller aperture or both. That usually will do the trick. Or!!! you could just enjoy the moment and just sit there and watch the sun go down. But you are a photographer so that wont happen.
And some pictures I’ve shot after being torn apart between surfing and photography.
The beach of Porto de Mos cloes to Lagos, gets really stunning sunsets
Rowan on his longboard. Rowan works as a surf instructor in Lagos. Great longboard surfer and really laid back person. Cool kid!
This is the talented and great surfer Emma Hamilton waiting for the next set. Here I swam out to get my pictures. This is from the girls Boot camp at the Surf Experience with Sam Lamiroy.
This is Manuel Mestres son, Ze Mestre.
And here I got Jon Pennington running up and down the beach several times, just to get that shot.